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I know what you’re all thinking, and that’s only because I’m thinking it, too. Remember how we started off the year two seasons ago, when you-know-what happened? See, I told you I wasn’t going to say it, but as soon as the final buzzer went last night, you know I was thinking it.

ANYWAYS. Since I’m helping Kim housesit, we were originally going to have a couple of her friends over to the house to watch the game on the ginormous TV here. Instead, while we were out to pick up our usual LaNova pizza beforehand, my friend Brittany calls me and invites us over to her boyfriend’s house, where we would eventually watch the game with herself, one other girl, and five 20-something, sports-fanatical guys. This could get interesting…

During the first intermission, Keith busted out his old-school XBox, which he had some sort of adapter thing that allowed him to play games from all video game systems, including Nintendo NES, so he and Scott sat through the intermission playing Ice Hockey, like 1995, or something ridiculous like that, while Phil tried to get their other TV to work in order to monitor puck drop. I haven’t seen that game since I was 7, when my brother used to pwn me in it. Yikes.

But back to the game. After Vanek scored his first goal of the night, Keith wondered what he’d be on pace for for the season, since our friend is always throwing those stats out there. Well, at that point, it would’ve been 109. Scratch that, though, since he netted YET ANOTHER shortie. 136. And Tommy? WAY TO LEAD THE LEAGUE IN GOALS.

And at some point, they must’ve shown the Campbell hit on Umberger, because Lucas decided to tell us a story about a friend of ours shopping in a department store around that time. He bumped into a little kid, and the kid stares him down, and flatly states, “BUMP INTO ME AGAIN AND I’LL UMBERGER YOU!” Only in Buffalo would you find someone saying something like that, and only in Buffalo would anyone understand it.

I really don’t have too much to say that hasn’t been said already, since I didn’t post last night, since we unexpectantly went out for the game. And there isn’t a whole lot of news to go around, EXCEPT THAT PAUL GAUSTAD IS SKATING. Yay.

I’ll post tomorrow morning with something good (hopefully), and maybe tomorrow night (probably) after the game. No liveblogging, as Kim and I will be there. =]

Oh… My three stars…

First Star : Thomas Vanek
Your prowess on the PK and the PP are still amazing me. And like I said earlier, you’re #1 in the league and on a ridiculous pace to score 136 goals. Enough said.

Second Star : Ryan Miller
Nothing surprising here; the guy was solid. He kept the door shut when we needed him to, and that was pretty much all the time, as we only managed to get 18 shots for us. Therefore, the 20 he did stop were extremely important. Plus, it’s good to see him step in after a very early night off and maintain his game.

Third Star : Ales Kotalik
Again, special teams are key to winning, and with this guy on there, it’ll make a difference in Connolly’s absence. Al’s goal tied it up at 1, and kept us in the game. Until that point, the game had ben ho-hum, with the Rangers shutting everything down. This broke the ice and allowed the Sabres to move in and take control.

Ranger’s Star : ?
I’m not going to lie; I didn’t pay much attention to anyone on that team. So they don’t get a star this time around. Shucks.

‘Til tomorrow. Great game guys!

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Quickly, before I run out the door to go to my Anatomy/Physiology Lab (which, by the way, is 2.5 hours, and the labs literally takes me less than 1; ridiculous), I just want to say a few things that I feel need to be said, some of which could be a bit controversial (I said a bit; that could be a stretch):
JOCHEN HECHT
There is absolutely nothing controversial about this gorgeous German.  Anyways, the Sabres really need to stop giving me bad news while driving at high speeds.  Last night, Kim and I drove up to the outlet mall in Niagara Falls, but then decided to go on a little adventure.  So, whilst driving down the 219 to Boston, I hear my phone vibrate in my door, so I grab it, and seeing “722737” on my screen, I say, “Oh God, what did the Sabres do now?”.  Then, while holding the wheel, at about 70 mph, I read:
“BREAKING NEWS–Buffalo Sabres GM Dary Regier announced that Jochen Hecht underwent surgery today on his finger and will miss a couple of weeks.  Txt End 2 quit.”
Wow.  Enough said, pretty much.  No, really, though, I’m extremely upset.  Then Kim goes, “Well, just think:  This could mean a call-up for Gerbe!”  And then I thought rationally (why do I always have to do that?), “No, because we have Ellis, and besides, Ruff always calls up whoever had been hot down there, and that’s MARK MANCARI!!!”  Which is kinda funny because Ruff said he would be the guy if they do, indeed, decide a filler guy is in order.  But then he’d have to clear waivers again, and I’d be a basketcase for the entire 24-hour waiver period.  
Jochen, ich liebe dich.  That’s “I love you” in German, if you can’t remember my story about him hearing me say that to him during practice one day.  He literally turned around and looked at me.  Who was mortified?  This girl.
MICHAEL PECA
I’ll be the first to admit that when this guy was a free agent, I wanted the Sabres to pick him up again.  I love Mike Peca.
True, his game is a fine line between gritty and dirty, but the guy’s smart.  He didn’t win the Selke purely by chance, and there was a reason for his being named Captain during his tenure here.  And the guy’s just not stupid.
That being said, I don’t think whatever happened here (WARNING:  Really bad fan video) is worth a 10-game suspension.  He admittedly grabbed the ref’s arm, but there is no way in hell you can convince me that he hit a linesman with his stick, as was perceived.
Now I realize that there’s this thing in the NHL where you’re not supposed to touch the sacred officials, but (1) they often ignore player’s pleas, especially if the person they’re coming from has a negative reputation of any sort, and (2) how were they supposed to hear anything remotely sounding like a voice when, HELLO! Dallas just scored and 18,532 people are screaming their heads off because, HEY! the Stars just scored on a 2-man advantage!  So he grabbed your arm.  Big deal.  Give him the three games mandated by the automatic contact clause or whatever it’s called and be done with it.  Peca is not so stupid as to use excessive force with an official.
There was something else I had to say too, but I can’t remember what it was, and I really need to get going to lab…
Anyways, since I can’t provide you with anything good to read, go read THN’s article about Nathan Gerbe that appears in the issue my household received yesterday.  Actually, I can’t find it, so I’ll post about it later, or tomorrow, or something.  But I love it, because the Sabres list him as 5’6″, as do the Pirates, by they (THN) say he’s 5’5″.  WHICH MEANS I AM TALLER THAN HIM!  That’s exciting shit right there!
And speaking of the Pirates, they do Bobblehead Nights, so go vote for the guy to have his very own Bobblehead.
Okay, ’til later.  Have a nice day, everyone!  And, oh yeah, Go Sabes!

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